B2B ecommerce tops the agenda
A Stanford report has found that 96 percent of respondents are planning to expand their B2B e-commerce programmes, expecting increases in the number of customers, suppliers and business processes.
More than 60 percent of respondents anticipate an increase in their B2B Integration budgets to take advantage of the average cost savings of 40 percent technology provides in the order-to-pay process. More than half of respondents showed at least a 40 percent reduction in their order processing costs by using B2B integration technologies while others noted the same amount being saved d with shipment management and EDI/XML-based invoicing.
GXS, a leading provider of B2B integration services broke news of the report from the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum titled, “B2B Integration: Business Value and Adoption Trends.” With funding provided by a gift to the university from GXS, the report offers insights into the latest trends and business value of B2B integration technologies.
“The increasing investment and adoption in B2B integration underscores its importance for companies. As the demands of managing global supply continue to grow, the complexities of connecting and collaborating electronically with global business partners grows increasingly vital,” said Steve Keifer, vice president of marketing at GXS. “The survey findings reinforce the importance of integrating B2B e-commerce operations for today’s companies to effectively operate their supply chains.”
Additionally, the survey found that, currently, a third of best-in-class companies were shown to exchange more than 60 percent of messages using structured messages (EDI, XML, Swift) rather than portals requiring manual keying. The survey also asked participants to estimate changes in transaction volumes over the next three years with 97 percent expecting B2B transaction volumes to increase. The majority foresee an increase of up to a quarter.
A growing number of companies have noted the potential business value of B2B collaboration in this highly competitive and distributed marketplace and are taking steps to improve electronic communication capabilities. This research aims to gain insight on the latest trends and business value associated with B2B integration technologies and results indicate the market is investing in increasing e-commerce programs and B2B integration efforts.
Report findings are based on a survey of nearly 100 users in North America, Europe and Asia, representing different industries including manufacturing, retail, financial services and logistics.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.